Monday, November 30, 2015

Last Day of November Playlist

With holidays and sicknesses and the general events of life, it's been a while since the last post, and I can't believe it's already the last day of November!  At least that means it's officially acceptable for me to listen to Christmas music and put the tree up.  

The Rockettes are my favorite part of the Macy's Parade. 
Even though I'm very grateful to be so fortunate as to have a school to go to and a home to go home to, going back to the "daily grind" after the extended break is proving to be challenging.  And I think I'm coming down with something, too, because getting up and out was particularly difficult.  But all that aside, Mondays are always made better by music.

Vance Joy: "Riptide"

Sia: "Elastic Heart"

New Politics: "Harlem"

Arctic Monkeys: "I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor"
And, because it's now the holiday season...

Darlene Love: "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)"

<3 Frances 

Monday, November 23, 2015

Movie Style: Testament of Youth

I'm reading Vera Brittain's memoir Testament of Youth at the moment.  It's a beautiful, poignant account of life and love during World War I, and Brittain, a feminist and peace activist, offers an honest perspective on how the war changed the youth of her generation.  No longer were they focused on academics or leisure but on survival.  
“There seemed to be nothing left in the world, for I felt that Roland had taken with him all my future and Edward all my past.”
Last year, a film adaptation of Testament of Youth came out, and my mum and I, always drawn to the tragic beauty of war poets like Wilfred Owen, watched it together.  The scenes of the trenches recreated the horrific reality of the war, and the film captured well the novel and the transition that the youth went through from being completely disconnected from war to being fully involved in it.  But while so much of the movie brought out the pain and horrors of the WWI era, the costumes designed by Consolata Boyle reflected (like the poetry) the beauty that so many clung onto during the darkness.!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/article_635/testament-youth.jpg

<3 Frances

Friday, November 20, 2015

Cuteness to Make You Feel Better

There are a lot of difficult things going on in the world, but in order to help make the planet a better place for everyone, it's important that we not forget about the good things, like fennec foxes and babies laughing hysterically at ripping paper.  Here's some cuteness to bring a little light to your Friday. 

That baby doll's expression just makes me so happy!

<3 Frances

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Art Inspiration

There's something so powerful about artwork, and these storybook pieces look like they could've come straight from the pages from a storybook.  When I have writer's block, it sometimes helps just to look at art like this because it's so appealing to the literary part of the mind.  Each piece could have a story that goes along with it, and I'm sure some of them do.  And the outfits in the paintings are pretty impressive themselves.  If only dresses could be so ethereal in the real world....

<3 Frances

Monday, November 16, 2015

Monday Soundtrack

I'm sending wishes for peace and love for your Monday.  

Orsten: "Fleur Blanche"

Seabear: "Lost Wach"

Sarah Blasko: "Illusory Light"

Ellie Goulding: "I Know You Care"

<3 Frances

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Prayers for Paris

Our thoughts and prayers are with the City of Light, and we continue to dream of peace on Earth for everyone <3 <3 <3. 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Aromatherapy for Your Monday

In the cold darkness that is this morning, there is one smell that has made me things infinitely better: peppermint.  It woke me up, reminded me that the holidays were coming, and made the puffiness in my eyes feel less obvious, and it's an example of just how powerful aromatherapy can be.  So if you're feeling down or sad or tired lately--or just want a simple pick-me-up--maybe you should consider a little essential oil treatment, too.

Here are some of our favorite scents:
  • Clove
    • Clove has an intense, somewhat-minty scent.  It can be a bit irritating to skin, so be careful, but its essence will warm you and leave you feeling fresh. 
  • Eucalyptus
    • Eucalyptus is strong, woody, and has a bit of a bite to it, and it will wake you up and help you get started with your day.
  • Grapefruit
    • Grapefruit is one of my absolute favorites!  It is sweet with citrus notes, and it soothes, invigorates, and mood-boosts all at the same time.  It'll also leave you smelling amazing.
  • Ginger
    • Ginger is warming and a bit spicy, but it'll make you feel safe and at-home.  It can also help with nausea.
  • Lavender
    • Lavender is already pretty mainstream, and it's incorporated into a lot of popular moisturizers, creams, fresheners, and bedtime products.  But that's only because it works. Sweet, floral, and fresh, lavender calms you and helps you drift off into a peaceful sleep. I've found it also helps with headaches.
  • Lemon
    • Lemon is fresh and citrus-y.  Don't wear it on your skin (especially in sunlight) because it can burn, but smell it all you want.  It will brighten everything.
  • Mint
    • As I said before, mint is awesome.  It clears your airways (and your mind), and it's strong enough to stay with you for a while.  It also makes you feel light, cool, and peppy.
  • Rose
    • Sweet and light, rose will make you feel equal parts calm and goddess-like.
  • Vanilla
    • Think desserts. This scent will give you that serotonin-rush feeling your favorite vanilla sweets do, without the added sugar.
There are many more wonderful aromatherapy scents out there, and you can find some of them here.  

<3 Frances 

Friday, November 6, 2015

Thinking of Those in Hard Times

A lot of people I know (as well as people I don't know) have been faced with tremendous hardships recently.  The Metrojet crash, the earthquake in Afghanistan, the French bus crash . . . it's all so terrible.  I want to devote this post to anyone who is suffering right now, and I encourage everyone to take a moment to think of all those around them--humans, animals, and plants alike--and send loving energy out into the world.  I got asked as a part of a survey if I thought humans were inherently good or evil. I think there are humans that have done some inexcusably horrible things (factory farming, etc.), and I am very vocally against all these things.  But when I heard a lot of people around me say that humans were just plain evil, I decided that, for the sake of putting positive energy into the universe, I'd be an optimist.  There are a lot of good people out there working hard to make the world a better place, and we can't forget about them or lose hope in the world.  <3

<3 Frances 

November Lookbook & Dental Improvement

I've been cleared for running and dancing again!  And I attempted to eat rice.   It took a while.  Aside from my teeth, though, here's a peak at November styles we're loving:

<3 Frances

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

More Wisdom Tooth-Friendly Foods

It's the fifth day of my wisdom tooth-removal recovery, and, even though I'm feeling a bit better, I'm still pretty chipmunk-faced and exhausted, and for now I'm staying under the radar of the outside world.  I think my teeth (or at least the spots were they used to be) are all healing nicely despite the fact that they were impacted, and I've graduated from ice packs to heat packs and from liquid foods to mushy foods.  YAY for mushy foods!  They're so satisfying.  I don't think I'll be able to have walnuts again until Thanksgiving, though....
Anyway, in the process of doing make-up work and gently stretching my jaw and rinsing my mouth with saltwater after every meal, I've found some recipes that make wisdom tooth surgery post-op more pleasant.  I can't guarantee you'll be able to eat all these things right away, but most should be okay after at least day two.  I've tried to find things that are healthy, palatable, and not all entirely sweet.  Too many meals of low-protein sweet fruitiness can get a bit nauseating after a while.  Without further adieu, though, here are some of my wisdom tooth-friendly food ideas:

  • Scrambled Eggs
    • I haven't gotten to try these yet, but I've heard good things about them from people who are at least in the fourth day of their recovery process. If you make them super soft and try to keep away from tiny pieces that can get stuck in the holes in your mouth, you should be able to enjoy them as a warming, satisfying meal. 
  • Butternut Squash
    • Butternut squash is wonderful!  It's very soft, and you can blend it or smash it with your fork/spoon to make it even more edible.  It's also sweet, but in a savory way (if that makes sense). It'll fill you up and provide you with important nutrients.  Plus, it's great for November. After having only had pureed fruit for three days, I basically cried eating butternut squash for dinner because it felt like "real" food.
  • Other Squashes
    • Okay, pretty much all squashes will work. The only one I can think of that may be too stringy is spaghetti squash, but if you blended it, it would be safe.
  • Baby Rice Cereal
    • Earth's Best Whole Grain Rice Cereal is something I had as a baby, and it's so wonderful.  The thing about it that makes it so god for people post-wisdom tooth surgery is that it isn't grainy like regular rice cereal and therefore poses less of a threat of food getting stuck.  The servings are very small, but if you add apple sauce/mashed banana/pumpkin/mashed squash, you can get a yummy dish with a soft consistency that's like porridge if you microwave it and ice cream if you refrigerate it.

Good luck with all your future dental endeavors!
<3 Frances

Monday, November 2, 2015

Halloweeen and Getting My Wisdom Teeth Out

I had my birthday, Halloween, and wisdom teeth surgery all within three days of each other, and I currently look a lot like a chipmunk.  Apparently, swelling is worst around a few days after the surgery operation, and for some reason one side of my face has decided to be particularly swollen despite the fact that I had teeth out on both sides.  Safe to say, it's not very fun, but it went well with my last-minute dormouse costume, LOL.  Halloween was spent inside with Charlie Brown and my mum and brother and pureed pumpkin.  A LOT of pureed pumpkin.
My Halloween inspiration (pic:
It's been difficult not getting to have "real"-feeling foods like a bowl of warm brown rice and broccoli (oh, how I miss that!), but my mum and I have been making the best of the blender.  My chosen birthday meal was "pudding" made of pumpkin puree, a banana, and a tablespoon of carob powder.  It actually tastes quite fun :).  I've also been having baby food.  Whoever decided to combine apple sauce and blueberries into a little container of mush is my hero.
Back to Halloween, though...when I was little, two of my all-time favorite movies were The Nightmare Before Christmas and Corpse Bride. My mum remembers hearing "This is Halloween," the intro theme from the former, playing in the background while she was working.  I realize now how creepy the song actually is, but I was super excited to see the DWTS dance cover of it.  The dance moves are as creepy and spidery as the lyrics! 

Happy November!
<3 Frances